The role of 18F-FDG PET in characterising disease activity in Takayasu arteritis

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2004 May;31(5):627-34. doi: 10.1007/s00259-003-1429-1. Epub 2004 Jan 17.


Takayasu arteritis (TA) is a rare, sporadic and chronic inflammatory arteritis, which predominantly affects the aorta and its branches. Diagnosis can be difficult and there are limitations to the current diagnostic work-up. By detecting areas of active glucose metabolism present in active vasculitis, imaging with fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography ((18)F-FDG PET) could potentially have a role in the management of TA. Our aim was to assess this role by reviewing 28 (18)F-FDG PET scans performed on 18 patients suspected of having TA. All patients had full clinical and laboratory assessment, cross-sectional imaging and angiography, and 16/18 satisfied the American College of Rheumatologists' criteria for TA. (18)F-FDG PET achieved a sensitivity of 92%, a specificity of 100%, and negative and positive predictive values of 85% and 100% respectively in the initial assessment of active vasculitis in TA. We conclude that (18)F-FDG PET can be used to diagnose early disease, to detect active disease (even within chronic changes) and to monitor the effectiveness of treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Takayasu Arteritis / diagnosis
  • Takayasu Arteritis / diagnostic imaging*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18